A second is but a second till it feels like a lifetime. A moment need only be filled with a possibility so profound the chance of the truth halts the universe, no, your universe in its tracks. Clarity comes, waging battle against denial. It's a battle it cannot win. As the dots began to connect in Namdi's head, he dismissed them, letting it evaporate into thin air. There is such a thing as coincidence in this world. A sigh escaped his lips as he turned off the T.V. It was for the best. He would find another store to get the mahogany door. Getting up, he headed to the kitchen for a breakfast of burnt akara.
Outside the simple door to their home, Zainab stood on tippy toes to kiss Namdi. He stood in front of her in his usual white shirt and dark suit. Her fingers reached up to adjust his tie, deftly slipping something into the inner pocket of his suit. It was their morning ritual before he left for work. She watched him drive away, a smile on her face till he disappeared onto the main road. Turning, she frowned at the open front door.
The Mercedes sped along, weaving through traffic. The dashboard screen lit up with an incoming call, the name "office mugu" flashing. Namdi's thumb hovered over the disconnect button on the steering wheel before he tapped the green accept button.
"How far from the office are you?"
"Femi, am about ten minutes. Why are you calling?"
"Better not be that naija I'm almost there."
"When have I ever been late?"
"Abegi, only because your resumption time is one hour later than everyone in the office. Sha get here, we've got a client come in, it's one of your accounts."
"I thought the boss made sure I didn't get any accounts that would be a hassle. I haven't even laid eyes on most of them."
"It's weird for you to be calling him boss. You know what, Namdi, just get here!"
Namdi fumed as the call was cut from the other end. Stepping on the accelerator, he sped down the highway. A few minutes later, he turned into the parking lot of a high rise building. At the top in bold letters was "SHAGARI INSURANCE".
The parking lot was full, except for a spot with the word 'Reserved' on a signpost. Namdi drove into the space. Grabbing his I.D. card and phone, he began to exit the car when he spied the folded white piece of paper on the floor. There was a trash can not to far away, near the entrance to the building. He picked it up as he headed towards the building door. Reaching the trash can, he stopped. Opening the paper, he looked once more at the content.
Silently, he mouthed out the numbers
He stopped himself. Balling up the paper he reached to open the bin.
Looking up, he saw his co-worker Femi at the door of the building shouting his name. Walking at an unhurried pace, he made his way to him.
"This guy, they've been waiting for you for the past half hour. Don't you know that they are the ones whose…?"
He ignored Femi, tuning him out while walking past him into the building. He didn't really like the guy. He reminded him of those boys at school who would do anything to be friends with the students who threw money around. The worst was Effizy. He thought of him a close friend; Zainab coming into their lives had exposed his true colours.
Namdi stepped into the elevator, allowing Femi to handle the controls. If he could have his way, he would take the stairs. He looked at the crumbled piece of paper in his hand, his thumb rolling it round and round. The elevator began its ascent. Reaching into his inner suit pocket to put away the paper, he found there was something else inside. Pulling it out, he saw it was a piece of the ribbon Zainab had used as a bow for his gift. Namdi's mind returned to last night, a smile coming to his lips. Safely tucking the ribbon away, he began to tear the crumbled piece of paper into smaller and smaller pieces. Femi watched confused as the pieces fell to the floor of the elevator. He wisely said nothing.
As the last piece fluttered to the floor, there was a ding and the elevator doors slowly opened. Namdi walked past Femi into the main reception of Shagari Insurance, his burden lighter. It was a large, tastefully decorated room. The waiting chairs were deep red, cushioned for the clients comfort. He disliked how some of the chairs were hidden from view of the elevator.
The receptionist saw Namdi, quickly getting up.
"Good morning sir, you have clients here to see you. They are currently sitting in your office. May I get you anything?"
"Come into my office in 20 minutes to take my lunch order. Bring with you a pot of tea and set up a meeting with the accounts department."
Namdi did not break his stride, making his way to his office.
"Actually, don't worry about the meeting, I'll take care of that myself."
With a twist, he worked his office door. It silently swung open, revealing a woman sitting in his office chair, legs crossed, fingers draped along the armrest.
Namdi said in disbelief, shock plastered all over his face.
Continued on next page...
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